On June 6, 2018, we were pleased to host a round tables event discussing the role of media in shaping Jewish-Arab relations in Israel, led by KAS – the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. The event opened with a special Iftar dinner, breaking the Ramadan fast, served by our Touro Restaurant.
The event was moderated by Iman al-Qassem, journalist, editor, and broadcaster at Kol Israel in Arabic and Dr. Ronni Shaked, from The Harry S. Truman Institute, a correspondent on Arab Affairs for Yedioth Aharonot.
The participants included journalists, researchers and media experts. The discussion touched questions such as:
- What images do media outlets in different languages create of the “other side”?
- How is the image of the Arab citizen portrayed in Hebrew media? Alternatively, how are state institutions and the Jewish majority portrayed in the Arabic-language media?
- Does the proliferation of media, especially social networks, contribute to deepening the rift between Jews and Arabs or could it contribute to softening differences and improving mutual understanding?
- Compared to the past, do the media and social networks now serve as a channel for ‘letting off steam’ and a substitute for protest activities on the ground, or do they actually serve as a channel of mobilization and a catalyst for more active protest?
- In situations of conflict, is it the role of media professionals to just present reality to the target audiences or consciously aspire to change public opinion?